special interests

After blogging yesterday about some of the petty ways initiative opponents try to block people from excercising their voting rights by throwing out their signatures on a petition, I started thinking about the wider struggle to protect those rights. Special interests and many politicians simply don’t like the initiative process because it threatens their hold on power. The last thing they want is for you, the voter, to have a say in how their government is run.

Bob Behn, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, was interviewed recently about the budgetary crisis facing California.

In what is an otherwise good discussion of the state’s fiscal issues, Mr. Behn ends with an oft-cited criticism of the initiative process: